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Any tips on partnering with your Alumni Association?

Posted on November 13th, 2009 by Anne Cardale, OLLI National Resource Center

Sarah Benton, OLLI at Penn State Asks OLLI:

If you partner with your Alumni Association, can you tell me all the ways in which you partner?  Do you offer an OLLI/Alumni co-membership?  If some of your OLLIs didn’t graduate from your host university, will your Alumni Association recognize them as alums and allow them to join the Alumni Association because they are OLLI students?

5 Responses to “Any tips on partnering with your Alumni Association?”


  1. Hi Sarah. Did I write you directly? If so it was weeks ago, which is beyond my range of active memory. We have a partnership with our Alumni and Friends Association wherein our members pay for membership at the same rate as actual CSUCI Alumni (as opposed to “Friends”, who pay $5 more). With membership, OLLI members get many local discounts discounts on group trips (e.g. to Dodger games) and other freebies that we haven’t gotten around to arranging exclusively for OLLI members. Most noticibly, there is a deep discount I’ve arranged with the Alumni Association for the New West Symphony that is now available, through A&FA membership, for OLLI members. Working on the same for our regional theater company.

    On the other hand, the A&FA pushes membership in OLLI for their members. We offer a one-time discount.


  2. I am new and see that our organization offers a free class to members who refer a new member. Done anything like this? Any feedback you could share?


  3. We have a referral form that we insert into the members registration packet. We do get them back. If the name is a true “new” name for us - they have never attended an OLLI class - we send the person that sent the referral a $5.00 gift certificate to a local restaurant. A nice touch we have been told. We also recognize all the members that sent a referral in our quarterly newsletter.


  4. We do partner with our Alunmi Association in the following ways: 1) they allow us to use their mailing list for our brochures; 2)they have hi-lited OLLI in their newsletter; 3) we offer a discounted ($5.00) semester program fee to alumni & emeriti; 4) Kelli Page, the Alumni Association Associate Director serves on our Board as a non-voting member. Kelli has also done travel lectures for us; the Association also offers OLLI members the same discounted travel prices as Alumni. And there are many world-wide excursions scheduled each year; 5) OLLI participates in some capacity at Alumni Weekend each summer. Hope this helps.


  5. Our Alum Association has a monthly online newsletter. They include information for us such as: 1) it’s time to register, who to contact/how, our website where all of our registration materials can be found, 2) advertise “extra” programs, e.g., our Faculty Led seminars, 3) our intergenerational programs for which we sometimes need more “adults” to make matches with students.

    Alum Relations has an annual Alumni College - a day of courses by Brandeis faculty. Our members are invited (many go!) and we have a table there to meet alum, share info about OLLI and recruit.

    Brandeis’s new president (Fred Lawrence) is very eager for OLLI and Alum to get together and to bring more Alum into our program. We have established a partnership and will be working on various methods to do this. Our first event took place about 3 weeks ago - it was an early evening reception where the president spoke, Alum who attended took mini-sample OLLI classes and visited with OLLI members who attended. There were only about 30 alum there but it was a succesful event - “good vibes” and we know some people will be coming to OLLI this fall - but don’t know who or how many yet.

    We expect much more activity in this area in the coming year.

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